... we left Pensacola Sunday morning to head toward Illinois for Christmas at my in-laws and made a two-day trip of it, staying at Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel Sunday night and visiting Graceland Sunday afternoon (the coldest day of the year for Memphis - it was 19 degrees!). My 6-year-old, Will, is a huge Elvis fan right now, thanks to his Grandpa Paul's influence, even wants to be Elvis for Halloween next year and possibly sing one of his songs in a talent show (if there is one at school or something), so he was pretty excited to see where The King lived. Rodney and I appreciate and like Elvis' music, but can't say we are huge fans. Rodney had been to Graceland years ago, but I had not, having been raised on the West Coast with no real reason to vacation in Tennessee. It's like people who live on the East side of the country never having been to Hollywood or Las Vegas, I guess. I was excited to go.
Now, looking back, I can totally see a Graceland-inspired mini book in my mind, showing off these photos for Will, and the rest of the family, to enjoy later. I brainstormed fabrics, embellishments, ribbons and more in my stash that would compliment the decor of the house, textures, colors and finishes that I've saved, but never knew when to use in my designs. Flash photography was not allowed, so I did my best with my Canon and what light was available. Here are some of the pictures of Graceland I took, with my best explanation for each:
The front of the house. Elvis purchased it in 1957 for $102,050 when he was 22 from a doctor's family, who named it after the matriarch of the family, Grace. Elvis liked the name so well that he kept it. Graceland was all decked out for Christmas while we were there, which was always the case during the holidays in Elvis' day. We did drive by Graceland at night and it was lit up beautifully, bright blue lights lining the driveway.
To the immediate right of Graceland's entryway is the living room, decked out with mirrors on both sides, making the room appear larger.
These photos are taken of the left, center and right of the room. White flocked paper would get the feel of this room, I think. Maybe some Heidi Swapp mirrors? Red velvet brocade? Along the left side of the living room is a short hallway, leading to Elvis' parents' room on the right. His mom, Gladys, only lived about a year at Graceland before her death. His Dad, Vernon, later married and moved out of Graceland. Elvis' grandma, who he nicknamed Dodger, took up residence in this room later.
I have some great grape-colored suede-like ribbon that might capture the feel of this room. And, again, maybe some flocked paper, and chandelier crystals.
Downstairs in the basement was the TV room (three TV's... I think there were only three channels back then, LOL) with a great U-shaped couch my husband, Rodney, really liked, with pillows with mirrors sewn into them. I have some ribbon with mirrors sewn in much the same way... I might just have to use it!
Also down there was the pool room with more than 350 yards of very-1970's multi
-colored fabric decorating every square inch. My mom has a huge stash of fabric from her quilting hobby. I think I might ask her if she has anything busy like this I can make some gathered embellishments with, or something.
Back upstairs, we headed into the infamous Jungle Room. This was truly just a family room until Elvis had it decorated with jungle-themed, yet very 1970's, decor. The fake animal fur chairs were a fad and the big round one in the corner with the teddy bear was his daughter, Lisa Marie's, favorite as a child. My 2-year-old, Xan saw the tricycle she had been given for Christmas decades ago and declared that he wanted it.
This room just screams for some faux fur on its scrapbook page! And maybe some green felt?
Across the backyard from the housewas the Racquetball Court. Seriously, if I ever win the lottery, I am building myself one of these... I love racquetball and love the idea of being able to play whenever I want!
No racquetball court is complete without a bar and sitting room. The sitting room had windows to the right to watch the game through. This was where Elvis spent his final morning, jamming with friends. The brown leather chairs might give me some inspiration...
Since no one plays racquetball at Graceland anymore, the curators have set up the racquetball court to house a number of Elvis' jumpsuits, including Will's favorite, the one on the right with the matching cape in the center. I think I can definitely find some "bling" in my stash to compliment those!
There is a separate display room of Elvis' jumpsuits, called Sincerely Elvis. Dozens of jumpsuits with rivets, jewels, capes, intricate designs, huge belts, are there, none of them the same. Although, he did wear a few of them to more than one performance.
I might need to buys some bling for these pages... LOL!